Ben Russell’s ‘THE CACTUS HOUSE’ opens at Hignell Gallery on 11 May, 2017

Hignell Gallery presents


Ben Russell 

11 May – 3 July

Contemporary sculpture specialist Hignell Gallery has announced that sculptor Ben Russell’s debut exhibition with the gallery, ​The Cactus House, will run at the galley from the 11 May to 3 July, 2017, coinciding with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Curated by director Abby Hignell, ​The Cactus House presents Russell’s hand-carved sculptures, set against an immersive display of greenery designed by Conservatory Archives​.

Ben Russell, Sculptor said:

“I’m excited to be exhibiting my work at Hignell Gallery in May. The Cactus House will be a showcase of over three months of carving to explore the unique and unusual forms of various cacti. I am approaching each block of stone with only a vague notion of what I wish to capture and feel that this has allowed each piece to emerge in an organic and natural way. The idea came to me when I noticed the beautiful way in which light penetrates through the flesh of certain cacti and succulents. I set out to capture this using semi translucent stones which in sunlight come alive with a warm glow unveiling the veining within.”

Whilst working at his leafy Dorset studio, heritage conservator and sculptor Ben Russell found inspiration in the unique way that light passes through the flesh of a cactus.

Having long been influenced by nature and organic forms, Russell works with the translucent properties of alabaster to recreate the effect in sculptural form.

Russell has expanded his collection to reflect the variety within the cactus family. New materials such as Portland limestone and Onyx stone allow him to produce a range of shapes and textures.

His method is a painstaking process of sanding and polishing, resulting in a luminous sheen to the surface of the stone.

Abby Hignell, Director of Hignell Gallery said:

“We’re delighted to be part of London’s annual celebration of The Chelsea Flower Show with this very special exhibition. I have always had a passion for the Temperate and Cacti houses at Kew Gardens. They are an infinite inspiration of sculptural forms displayed in beautiful naturally lit interior. They have great affinity with a sculpture gallery space. You walk into a different world which becomes an immersive multi sensory experience.

This installation explores nature in art and art in nature. Ben Russell’s love and knowledge of stone is really celebrated in the endless variety of cactus shapes. The different stones which he has skilfully hand carved – alabaster, travertine, onyx, Italian marble, portland limestone, are each as unique as the plants themselves.”

For more information on the exhibition, please Click Here.

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